Wednesday, October 31, 2012

the most romantic song in the world.

no really, it is. i know it's not in english, but give it a chance. it's one of those songs that are so beautiful it'll break your heart and make you believe in humanity again. (and the video is kind of sweet :))

p.s it's time to go adventuring again. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

I ate the plums in the icebox.

Can we talk about poems for a second?

the other day I overheard one of my sisters complaining about her composition class because poems are boring. yeah, i get it, shakespeare isn't for everyone (and sometimes not even me) but he isn't the only poet, and poems are wonderful, truly. i've been memorizing  a poem for every spanish oral exam thrown my way, but now i would like to make an effort of memorizing poems on the reg. just for the fact that they are beautiful and smart and sad and sweet.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!
—Rudyard Kipling

this photo gets me everytime. i need to frame it one day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Caution: Diaries may be more dangerous than you think

Among many other writers who give this advice, Meg Cabot, author of the Princess Diaries series, once said she found most of her inspiration for her stories from her very own diary she has kept since middle school. In my opinion, I don’t believe many people who keep a diary be it via journal or on a blog, actually write thinking that one day someone will find it and it will become a bestseller, much less the beginning of a revolution. The attack on Malala Yousafzai due to what was written in her journal has not only interested me on the level of a 14 year old girl standing up to the Taliban, but on a personal one as well. After watching the TED Talk from Manal al-Sharif  about the oppression of women in the Middle East, hearing that they weren't allowed to drive or even be called by their name, I have followed the foundation “Drivers of our own Destiny,” set up to help women in Muslim dominated countries find their voice. I am also emotionally connected to this story as well, because I have kept a journal since middle school and even though I may lose some friends and my parents may be upset, it wouldn't be a huge deal. Malala’s diary scared the Taliban! Her words could very much bring the momentum needed to start a revolution, and that is incredible.
The lead from the first account of the story on Washington Post mentioned “a 14 year old Pakistani student was critically wounded Tuesday by a gunman who boarded her school bus, asked for her by name, aimed his pistol at her head and fired.” Although the information offered was good, the article jumped around too much. The second paragraph merely skimmed over her being an anonymous writer about the Taliban atrocities for the BBC. This is an interesting piece, and I think readers would want to know why the BBC chose a ninth grader to be their anonymous correspondent. The next paragraph talks about Swat Valley (where Malala is from) as a tourist destination, with very few Taliban attacks. The article then jumps to mentioning many Pakistanis see Yousafzai as a “symbol of hope in a country long beset by violence and despair.” She won the International Children’s peace Prize for “her bravery in standing up for girls’ education rights when few others in Pakistan would do so.”
The next paragraph was a touch ironic, for it mentioned the vigils school children across the nation and that even though they (young children) were holding these vigils, major religious parties and mosque leaders remained silent, “for fear of provoking the Taliban.” Just something to think about.
The odd part of this account was the skipping around, it started off with the altercation, went to talking about the Valley, the school vigils, offered a little more about what happened on the bus, quoted her father and the Chief of Army General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and then ended the article with even more information about what happened on the bus. “A masked man stopped the school van, the driver tried to speed off, but the man shot her before jumping off and escaping.” I enjoyed the article and through these journalism courses I have found the Washington Post to be my favorite newspaper, but I wish they kept everything together instead of skipping around, getting to the rest of the information when they felt like it.
When the Washington Post took a more straightforward perspective, the New York Times went for a more dramatic and rather emotional approach. “On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen answered Ms. Yousafzai’s courage with bullets, singling out the 14 year old on a bus filled with terrified school children, shooting her in the head and neck. Two other girls were wounded in the attack.” The article doesn't start out with the attack however, but hints at the blog writing, “At age 11, Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban by giving voice to her dreams.”
A quote from a Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, called her “crusade for education rights and obscenity. She has become a symbol of Western culture and was openly propagating it. Let this be a lesson.” He then commented that if she was to survive the attack, the Taliban would come for her again.
The article included quotes from her diary, “During the morning assembly we were told not to wear colorful clothes as the Taliban would object to it.” According to the article, she wore a pink dress to the assembly that day.  “On my way home from school I heard a man saying, ‘I will kill you,’ I hastened by pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else.” Apparently not.
The school Malala attended was forced to close and she escaped to Abbottabad (the town where Osama bin Laden was killed last year). That summer, the Pakistani Army fought against the Taliban and an uneasy peace settled over the city. Yousafzai was a prominent voice in the community, a classmate Fatima Aziz said, “We found her to be very bold, and it inspired every one of us.”
The article said the Taliban violence was a “fresh blow for Pakistan’s beleaguered progressives, who seethed with frustration and anger.” A tweet from a media commentator, Nadeem F. Paracha was quoted, “Come on brothers, be real men. Kill a school girl.”
The Times pulled at heart strings in this account, they talked about the community fighting back against the Taliban and used more dramatic language when describing the shooting (i.e. “terrified school children” “answered courage with bullets” “seethed in anger”). Although I enjoyed reading the account because it was so dramatic and should be since it’s the Taliban shooting a 14 year old girl, this may also be a red flag of sorts since I am now curious as to what else the Times is being a little over the top about.
The Wall Street Journal was concise and to the point, the report barely reached a page. Like the New York Times, a few key phrases such as, “symbol of resistance,” “incident sparked outrage” stood out. The only mention what the actual shooting was in the lead and that did not even tell the reader that she was shot on a school bus. “was shot by Taliban gunmen in Swat Valley. Malala survived the attack but underwent complicated surgery to remove the bullet from her head, and is reported to be in stable condition.” This is cool because it gives the reader a straightforward account of what happened, but I think that the school bus detail is important and should be a part of the account.
The Wall Street Journal may have been the only one that did not make a huge deal out of the shooting, but it is the only one that explained the BBC aspect of the story. “Malala first came to prominence in 2009 when she wrote an anonymous blog for BBC Urdu about her experiences as a school girl as the Taliban forced closures of private schools as part of an edict banning girls’ education. Malala’s identity was revealed later, and she was nominated for an International Children’s peace Prize.”
The article included quotes from her diary, “During the morning assembly we were told not to wear colorful clothes as the Taliban would object to it.” According to the article, she wore a pink dress to the assembly that day. 
The article concluded with the final, rather ominous quote, “On my way home from school I heard a man saying, ‘I will kill you,’ I hastened by pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else.” Apparently not.
Although I knew I wanted to write the critique on this report, I was worried that all of the articles I read would look the same. To me, it is such a huge issue, it was about a ninth grade girl standing up to the Taliban, and it included the Taliban who everyone hates. This may have not been a story that revealed a newspapers standing on a particular issue, but it did show the personality of the paper and general tone. I would say The New York Times is on the dramatic side, the Washington Post is in the middle, and the Wall Street Journal is on the more dry side of the news writing spectrum. I also think that this has proved to me that you kind of have to read all of the papers in order to get the right kind of perspective on the situation. If you solely read the wall Street Journal for instance, you probably wouldn’t understand the heaviness of the situation. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...